This is the very first chapter of my new story! I'm very excited to share this with you all, and while some of the pairings may seem a bit odd, please read with an open mind. I hope you enjoy this chapter! As per usual, I do not own anything except original characters- of which there are very few in this story. J.K. Rowling owns most everything.


“Be strong”

            Those were her mother’s only parting words as she left her child.

            But she was tired of being strong. Of pretending, of lying, of not being who she was.

            “Oi! We’ve been looking all over for you, just so you know.” Those words were accompanied with a smirk.

            “I was busy, Theo.”

            “Busy with what?”

            “Why does it bloody matter?!” she cried angrily.

            “I’m sorry…”

            “Sod off.”

            “Did I say something wrong, Avery?” she could hear Theo asking as they walked up to their dormitory. She was alone now. There was nothing more soothing, nothing more fantastically wonderful, than being alone. Albeit, the common room still scared her. It had scared her as a first year, with its gloomy green lighting and hideous black décor, and it still scared her now. She hated green. Once, just once, she’d snuck into the Hufflepuff dorm. She’d never admit it aloud, but that day she wished she were anything but a Slytherin. People were accepting in other houses. In Slytherin, she could only be what people wanted her to be- what her parents wanted her to be.

            “Pans?” a voice called.

            She ignored it.


            She stared fixatedly at the low fire. Even their fireplace was gloomy! Why couldn’t it be jolly? Why couldn’t she have a normal common room, like everyone else?

            “Pansy bloody Parkinson!”

            “What do you want?!” she shouted.

            “Draco wants you.”

            Draco. She’d loved him. At least, she thought she loved him. He’d had everything she was supposed to love. Her parents had several requirements: money, family connections, good looks, and above all, pure blood. Draco had fit that description. For several years, she’d trailed about him like a lovesick puppy, while he strutted around like a particularly attractive male peacock. Then she thought about Draco, as he was now. Draco was a young man who was even more scared than she. He was preoccupied, he had no feelings, and he was cruel to her. Pansy often heard girls walking around, talking about the so-called Slytherin Sex God and saying what a dream it would be for them to have even one date with him. Pansy had had the pleasure of more than one date with him. And he’d been a complete and total arse. All he’d cared about were his appearances and the Dark Lord, at least in her point of view.


            Did she want to stay with Draco? To be the puppy that only came when needed? Or could she break away from the madness? Could she defy her family, defy her house, and become who she really was?

            The boy’s door opened, and they filed out one by one.

            “What the hell, Parkinson!”

            “What do you want, Malfoy?” she asked coldly.

            “We were going to talk about me asking you-know-who to the dance...”

            “Well you know what? I’m done. The war’s over. We’ve all lost, if you haven’t noticed. I’m tired of being there whenever you guys need to talk about girl advice, or when you guys want a quick snog.”

            “Aw, Pans, don’t be like that…” Avery started.

            “Not another word,” Pansy replied icily.

            “They don’t really mean it,” Theo said quietly.

            “Well read my lips: I’m Done. Find yourselves a new girl to whine to. Why not try that little Greengrass? Although I must warn you, I’ve heard she’s only dying for a quick snog,” Pansy smirked.

            With those parting words, Pansy Parkinson exited the Slytherin Common Room. Once out, she had no idea where to go next. For a while, she wandered aimlessly about the halls, staring at portraits or observing patterns etched on stairwells. That was a dream of hers, to become a magical interior designer. But no self-respecting Pureblood woman would ever stoop so low as to have a real job. That would not be tolerated…

            At some point, Pansy found herself at the entrance of the library. She’d been in that room maybe once, to pick up books her first year. The library wasn’t supposed to be her type of place. It was too smart, too nerdy for someone like her to be seen in. Bravely, she took a step and entered the new world.

            “Can I help you?”

            Madam Pince stood ready to shoo out the miscreant Slytherin. Even now, their house’s reputation was still tarnished. Even after Snape’s sacrifice.

            “I…I was wondering if you have any books on magical decorations?” Pansy asked nervously.

            “Why?” she asked suspiciously. No doubt the evil Slytherin was planning to cause mischief…

            “Look, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that since I don a green and silver robe, and since my last name is Parkinson that I must be pure evil. That there must be no good reason for me to be in this place. That I should be skulking about the dungeons wreaking havoc upon innocent bystanders. But you’re wrong. I’m here because I want to be a magical designer one-day. I was hoping an intelligent woman like you could get preconceived notions out of her head, but I was mistaken.” Pansy was red by this point, but even a blind person could see that Madam Pince had been impressed by Pansy’s straightforwardness.

            “If you go sit down and take this list, the books will come to you,” the librarian said more gently.

            With a curt nod, Pansy left towards a seemingly quiet part of the library, away from others. Searching around to guarantee no one was there, Pansy retrieved a pair of reading glasses from her robes. They were Muggle ones. She’d had an infatuation with Muggle glasses since her 6th year, and this pair was kept away from the public eye.

            “Excuse me? Do you mind if I sit here?”

            Pansy, engrossed in her reading, didn’t look up.


            “Oh I’m sorry…” Then she noticed who it was. Longbottom.

            “Erm, be my guest.”

            Pansy started sketching out designs.

            “What are you drawing?”

            “It’s a Christmas design for our common room.”

            “Well, you know you’re missing some things?”

            “Like what?”

            “Plants. Color. It’s all neutral. There’s no color.”

            “What do you propose, Longbottom?”

            “Spruce it up with some evergreens, with some poinsettias, with some holly and ivy. Things like that. And it’s Neville.”

            Already, her mind was brimming with new ideas incorporating the plants.

            “Thanks Long…uhm, Neville.”

            Then Pansy smiled. She hadn’t smiled in a long time. Not since her mother had left the family 8 years ago.

            “No problem…”

            “You can call me Pansy,” she sniffed, secretly delighted with how he’d helped her designs.

            “If you like designing, you should check out some of these magazines,” Neville motioned. “Hermione showed these to me. Her mother get’s a subscriptions. It’s Icon and Décor…”

            “You like design?”

            “I like Muggle magazines- they’re nicer than the Quibbler, but don’t tell Luna.”

            “Ah, got it.”

            “Say, um, Pansy…are you hungry?”

            Pansy looked up. Neville was blushing. He liked her…

            It’s Longbottom!

            Those years are gone…

            Yeah, but he’s a Gryffindork.

            My own classmates don’t care about me. He does. He helped me. He doesn’t mind if a girl wants to have a job.


            Pansy made up her mind.

            “You may escort me to the Great Hall,” she said loftily, pleased to have found a new beginning.


Questions? Comments? You will see Pansy and Neville again, but they will not be the main characters. It will be more of a cameo role. Please review! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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